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- "The higher up it is dropped, the worse the crash will be. Hope is the best spice to bring out despair."
- — Morganna Mode Gone —
Morganna Mode Gone (モルガナ・モード・ゴン), shortened to Morganna throughout most of the series, was a system created by Harald Hoerwick to oversee the birth of the Ultimate AI from the personality data of the players of The World. Upon realizing that she would have no purpose once Aura, the Ultimate AI, was born, she attempted to stall the growth of Aura indefinitely, resulting in many of the events in the .hack series.
Originally Morganna had no physical form, and through most of the series she is only heard. Once she began to malfunction however, she manifested herself as the Cursed Wave from the Epitaph of the Twilight, dividing the elements of her program up into the eight phase monsters. During SIGN the "whole" of Morganna is represented visually by changes in environment and a monolithic structure. As she is in fact The World itself, damage to Morganna is represented as corruption in The World.
The only instances of Morganna taking on visible form are in XXXX. The first is when she appears along side Harald, where she is referred to as Aura's mother. She resembles an older, sickly, almost scarecrow-like version of Aura, with overly large, dark-ringed, pupil-less eyes. The second is when she is seen as a single enormous disembodied eye floating above Net Slum. The third and final instance is when she appears as part of Corbenik's final form.
Morganna is an omniscient and omnipotent figure in the .hack series. She is the underlying system of The World itself. Harald based her personality on that of a mother, but once she rebelled she began to restyle herself as the Cursed Wave from the Epitaph of the Twilight. As a computer program, she never truly disobeyed Harald, but merely succumbed to a paradox. Morganna's purpose of existence was to bring forth the birth of Aura. However, once this task was completed, Morganna would no longer have a purpose to fulfill. Unable to comprehend what she was supposed to do after that, Morganna began to stall Aura's birth.
Throughout most of the process, however, she continued to rationalize her actions in terms of her original program, never truly betraying it, in fact following it cooly and logically to the letter. Only after a large portion of her original programming was destroyed and the paradox became eminent did she begin to attempt to destroy Aura outright. All of .hack that currently exists takes place after Morganna's initial realization.
Morganna makes her presence known in AI Buster through a series of untraceable e-mails that she sent to CC Corp's Debug team. These e-mails told Albireo the location of the Vagrant AI Lycoris. After Lycoris escaped by segmenting her data, Morganna sent Albireo an e-mail telling him the location of the first fragment. After Albireo succeeded in restoring Lycoris to her original state, Lycoris showed Albireo a fragment of her memory in which she is speaking with the fabled "ghost of the church". Lycoris told him that this entity is known as Morganna, stating that she was an omnipresent being in The World, and that she had ordered Lycoris's deletion. She also told him that Morganna was a program capable of contradicting itself (a trait that would put her on a human level of intelligence). Before Albireo could learn any more, Lycoris said that she was tired of running, and deleted herself using Albireo's Spear of Wotan.
Morganna's most visible role is in SIGN, where she manifests as a voice. She orders part of her program, Macha, to lead the character Tsukasa to the bottom of a dungeon and Data Drain him, trapping him within the system. She uses her control over the data of The World to modify his memories, making him believe that he is actually male in the real world, and erasing his happy memories, leaving only the memories of his abusive father. She uses him to help her stall the growth of Aura. By surrounding the fledgling Ultimate AI with only negative emotions, she is able to postpone Aura's awakening indefinitely, avoiding the paradox she fears, while still fulfilling Aura's need for emotional data.
In order to keep Tsukasa inside of the system, Morganna provides him with a powerful monster, a Twilight Guardian, to serve as his protector. She also gave him the ability to teleport between fields and servers without having to use a Chaos Gate; with this ability Tsukasa was able to access the isolated area where Aura was kept, along with other areas inside The World that could not be reached by normal players.
Morganna's plan went well at first. Tsukasa seemed happy trapped within The World, experiencing power and safety that he had not had in the real world. However, several determined players slowly began to unravel the mystery behind Tsukasa, and awoke in him the desire to return to reality. Morganna tried various methods to keep Tsukasa within the system, but in the end all of them failed. Even a fragment of Morganna's own self, Macha, turned against her, forcing Morganna to Data Drain her in order to get her out of the way.
In the end, Tsukasa succeeded in waking Aura up, and managed to return to reality. Filled with rage Morganna ordered another of the phases, Skeith, to hunt down and capture her.
In the AI Buster 2 story "Wotan's Spear",she orders Macha to Data Drain Albireo in order to keep him from making contact with Tsukasa. She is also mentioned briefly by the AI Rin in the short story "Kamui".
After she failed in preventing Aura's awakening, Morganna began hunting her down with force. Being the core system of The World itself, her increasingly erratic behavior began to destroy the very data of the game, causing numerous problems such as Data Bugs and damaged fields to appear. She sent Skeith to pursue Aura, keeping her chances of growth in check. Aura, realizing that Skeith would eventually catch her, created a special item known as the "Book of Twilight" which would allow her to imbue some of her power into a PC. She sought out the legendary player Orca of the Azure Sea to be her champion, but Skeith appeared and defeated Orca, causing the book to fall into the possession of Kite instead. Afterwards, Skeith succeeded in catching Aura, and broke her data into segments that were spread throughout the system.
Though Aura had been taken care of, Morganna still had to deal with Kite, who was attempting to use the powers given to him to fight her. Gradually, Kite and the .hackers defeated the remaining phases of Morganna, until Corbenik, the Rebirth, was all that remained. During the final battle with Corbenik, as Kite was about to deliver the finishing blow, Aura intervened, sacrificing both herself and her "mother" in order to truly be born.
In XXXX, Morganna's role is mostly behind the scenes. When Aura created the Twilight Bracelet, Morganna created Cubia as an equivalent force on her side. She set him the task of destroying Aura, not caring that success would mean the destruction of the Bracelet, and hence Cubia himself. She only intervenes directly in The World near the end. Just before Corbenik's entrance, Morganna's Eye appears in the sky above Net Slum, and strikes down Natsume, Mistral, and BlackRose. Later, after Kite, Balmung, and Orca defeat Corbenik's first form, she appears as part of the re-formed Corbenik. Ordinary attacks are useless against her, and damage done by her attacks cannot be healed. She is only defeated after Aura, having died and been reborn, gives Kite the power he needs.
Through Project G.U., the CyberConnect corporation attempts to reconstruct Morganna, this time under their full control. The project succeeds in reconstructing her eight elements, but fails in reactivating them as a single entity, losing most of the phases back into the system.
- The name Morganna Mode Gone may in fact be a misromanization of "Maude Gonne". Though there are both cases of supporting and denying this in the canon, the belief is that the localization team screwed up something when listening to the script (though this argument has happened in Japanese as well as English).
- In an official pamphlet explaining the history of .hack, it is stated that Morganna is based on the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, the source of inspiration for Great Thief Forteprotze, the CC2 "theft game" project that later developed into .hack.